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By Rachelle Winkle-Wagner, Cheryl A. Hunter, D. Hinderliter Ortloff, Debora Hinderliter Ortloff

This booklet offers new methods of considering academic techniques, utilizing quantitative and qualitative methodologies. Ultimately, it goals at increasing wisdom itself - changing the centre via permitting the margins to notify it - permitting it to be prolonged to incorporate these methods of understanding that experience traditionally been unexplored or overlooked.

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Extra resources for Bridging the Gap between Theory and Practice in Educational Research: Methods at the Margins

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A plausible hypothesis here is that as researchers we feel that once our critiques have been rendered we can then continue our own work, ignoring the mandate. Eckardt’s (2007) observation of the prevalence of qualitative methodology at AER A might partially support this idea. Another hypothesis could be that we have simply accepted the mandate as inevitable and are complying with it in our scholarship and search for funding. , WWC, Best Evidence Encyclopedia). Most contributors to the issue discuss the factors that need to be taken into account to make this review process more meaningful, reliable, and less biased.

Although the report focuses a great deal on the use of experimental designs, it does recognize the added contribution that such strategies as case study, ethnography, mixed method designs, and so on can make to education research. What prevails throughout the report is a strong emphasis on causal relationships, randomization, replication, measurement, and an exclusive post-positivist stance on research in education (Eisenhart and Towne, 2003) while explicitly rejecting postmodernism defined as ‘‘an extreme epistemological perspective that questions the rationality of the scientific enterprise altogether, and instead believes that all knowledge is based on sociological factors like power, influence and economic factors’’ (Shavelson and Towne, 2002, 25).

That is, there are serious intellectual (and pedagogic) skills in dealing with the histories and debates surrounding the epistemological, political, and educational issues involved in justifying what counts as important knowledge. These are not simple and inconsequential issues, and the practical and intellectual/political skills of dealing with them have been well-developed. However, they can atrophy if they are not used. We can give back these skills by employing them to assist communities in thinking about this, learn from them, and engage in the mutually pedagogic dialogues that enable decisions to be made in terms of both the short-term and longterm interests of oppressed peoples.

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